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Title: Change For Love
Pairing: Hannibal Lecter/Will Graham
author's Note: Sequel to "What He Wants."
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Hannibal Lecter or Will Graham, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Hannibal stared down at the counter, the movement of his hands stilled.
He had been thinking quite a lot this morning since he had come downstairs to make breakfast, and he'd come to some definite conclusions about his future.
Heaving a sigh, he began to work at the omelet again, chopping parsley and red peppers to add to the scrambled eggs and ham. His movements were automatic, he didn't need to think about cooking something so simple. He had decided to make omelets for their breakfast today, as he knew they were one of Will's favorites.
He enjoyed doing little things like this for Will -- making his favorite meals, being here in the kitchen when he came downstairs to have his morning coffee and handing his lover the full mug.
To his surprise, he realized that he wanted to live the rest of his life this way, with Will as the center of that life. He wanted the two of them to share their days and nights, to form a bond that would be unbreakable. Will had become more to him than simply someone who was passing through his life.
He had known that he was in love with Will from that terrifying moment in that basement prison, when he'd thought that he had lost the young man for good, that Will was dead.
But he hadn't realized just how much he loved Will until now.
Somehow, Will Graham had woven himself into the very fabric of Hannibal's existence, becoming the center of his world. He could no longer imagine a life without Will by his side.
At one point, Hannibal had thought that he could keep Will at arm's length, that he would be satisfied to have the young man in his life as nothing more than a friend, a colleague, and a sometime lover. But now he knew that he wanted far more than that from their relationship. He wanted a complete commitment.
And that would involve making some radical changes to his life. He would have to change if he wanted to keep Will; there was no question about that.
Will would never accept him as he was now. He would have to clean up his act, change so much about himself that he had always thought would be a part of him. Those changes wouldn't be easy, and it would be a struggle to turn away from things that had become as much as part of him as drawing breath.
But having Will in his life would be worth making those changes, he told himself firmly. If those changes weren't made, then he would certainly lose Will, and that wasn't an option.
First, he would have to stop killing and eating people.
Would he be able to stop doing something that had become such an intrinsic part of him? he asked himself as his hands continued their automatic movements. Could he even contemplate doing so?
He had to. If he didn't, then Will was already lost to him. And really, he had been turning away from that more and more lately.
Somehow, it just didn't seem right, not when Will was spending so much time with him. It felt somehow disloyal to his young lover to make meals out of the Chesapeake Ripper's victims.
The Ripper would have to die an unlamented death; Hannibal would have to stop committing those crimes, and lay that part of who he was to rest for good.
That was something he would struggle with; he had no doubts about that. But he also didn't doubt his own inner strength, his ability to do whatever he set his mind to.
He would overcome that need to kill. He would do it for Will, for their future together. He would do it because it was what Will would want him to do if he knew that his lover was the Chesapeake Ripper. For Will, he would manage to do anything. He didn't have a choice in the matter, not if he wanted to keep Will's love.
Will loved him; he had no doubts about that, either. Will wouldn't have been able to give his body so completely after what had been done to him if he didn't have complete trust in his lover.
He could see that love shining in Will's blue eyes whenever the young man looked at him.
He'd thought when he had first started this relationship that he would get his fill of Will, and then dispatch him. But he had long since realized that there was no way he could do that.
Killing Will would be a tragedy, a travesty. He could never bring himself to take the life of the person he loved; he might have thought that he would be able to do so when this had all started, but he hadn't counted on his feelings for Will becoming much stronger than his need to take lives.
Will's life was precious to him. He'd known that ever since he had held his lover's lifeless body in his arms and sobbed, when he had thought that it was the end and he had lost Will forever.
Losing his lover wasn't an option; he wasn't even going to consider it. He recoiled from the idea of taking Will's life; if he had ever thought that he could do so, then he had been fooling himself. Even at the beginning of their relationship, he should have known that he could never put an end to the man he loved.
He had never thought he could feel this way about anyone, and that threw a monkey wrench into the plans he had made so long ago. But he was nothing if not adaptable.
Plans changed. Feelings changed, and his had grown and developed.
He had changed since he'd met Will; their relationship had made him a better person, and he was discovering that he liked who he had become, liked him better than the person he used to be.
With Will by his side, those changes would keep happening, and he would come to like who he was even more. And, Hannibal told himself, more importantly, he wouldn't be alone. He would have someone to share his life with, someone who brought out the good in him, someone who would love and cherish him.
Perhaps Will couldn't love the person he was now, but he would put his life of killing behind him. He could, and would, do that for the man he had lost his heart to.
What was killing, compared to a lifetime with Will? He was finding that his murders didn't give him the satisfaction that they used to; the only things that gave him happiness now was being with his lover, feeling that his heart beat in Rhythm with Will's, they they were attuned to each other and that he was loved and needed.
Yes, he would change, Hannibal told himself as he slid the two omelets onto plates and put them on the table. For Will, he would do all that he could to become a better man. He could change for love.
It might not be easy, but he could accomplish anything as long as he had Will by his side.
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